To see signs of confidence from an NHL rookie, look no further than Richard Panik’s spin move at the top of the crease Thursday in his first game in Montreal.

The 22-year-old, in his 22nd game of the season with the Lightning, took a pass from Victor Hedman and pulled the puck from his backhand through the crease onto his forehand. The move happened in a split second and caught unsuspecting goaltender Carey Price flat-footed, leaving an open half of the net. Panik easily flipped the puck in for a power-play goal late in the second period.

“It was a great pass by Heddy, and I tried to jam it into the net, and suddenly I was right in front of the goalie,” Panik said. “So, I just put it upstairs and it went in.”

His description of that play perhaps gives an indication of some humility from the 2009 second-round pick, but make no mistake: He is a confident player on the ice. He loves to have the puck and is capable of scintillating moves when he has space.

That was evident on his first career goal, on Feb. 23 in Carolina, when he took his own rebound, flipped it across the crease, circled behind the net and emerged on the other side to flip the puck into the vacated side of the net.

“When he plays with confidence, he has above-average talent in every aspect of his game,” said Lightning coach Jon Cooper, who coached Panik in the American Hockey League the past two years. “He’s got size. He can skate. He can shoot. So, when he’s playing with confidence he can be … the ceiling is really high for him. It’s just a matter of him staying consistent.”

Some of that is starting to come along at the NHL level after he became an integral part of last season’s AHL championship team. Panik spent much of the first half of last season as a healthy scratch.

Now, in his second call-up to the Lightning this season, it’s a process he’s picking up quicker than he did last season. In his first call-up, he had one goal and 10 hits in nine games. Since being recalled March 23, he has four goals, eight points and 25 hits in 13 games.